For various reasons, children and adults alike can’t or do not want to carry a traditional backpack, so they opt for a rolling backpack. They are extremely useful, especially in today’s world, where we’re always on the go, and carrying heavy supplies like laptops, textbooks, and chargers more often than ever before.
Here’s the thing: Not every rolling backpack is made the same.
In fact, it’s kind of a rarity to find a heavy-duty rolling backpack that can withstand that wear-and-tear that we will undoubtedly put them through.
That’s why we’ve created this guide here, so you have a reliable source for reliable products.
5 Of The Best Rolling Backpacks 2018
Here’s a quick comparison of the different rolling backpacks that we are going to look into:
|High Sierra Freewheel||6.12 lbs||Duralite Ripstop, large, multi-compatment, fully-padded cushion zone computer sleeve, deluxe media pocket with headphone port, smooth rolling, corner-mounted wheels, hideaway telescoping handle|
|L.L. Bean Rolling Deluxe Book Pack||5 lbs. 3 oz.||Made of weatherproof 320-denier nylon, pack bottom made of 1680-denier ballistic nylon, padded, adjustable tuck-away straps, heavy-duty zippers, haul loop on top, two-stage retractable T-handle, ergonomic grip, smooth in-line skate wheels, 3M Scotchlite reflective trim on front and back|
|Jansport Driver 8 Core Series||5 lbs.||Nylon, buckle closure, rugged, versatile, tuck-away shoulder straps, two large compartments, padded sleeve for laptops up to 15 inches, front utility pocket with office supply organizer, front stash pocket, side water bottle pocket, fully-padded back panel, retractable two-stage handle, 80mm inline skate wheels|
|Kipling Alcatraz II||N/a||Made of 100% crinkle nylon, interior pouch fits 15-inch laptop with velcro closure, retractable multistage wheel handle with blocking button, hide-away padded straps, works great as luggage carry-on|
|Skip Hop Zoo||2.2 lbs||Front zip pocket for easy access, removable, adjustable parent strap, retractable 12-inch handle, elastic mesh bottle pocket, cute design, back loop to keep shoulder straps tucked away when not in use|
Now that you’ve had a chance to look at an overview of all of the best rolling backpacks, it’s time to scroll down a bit further and read more in-depth about each product!
High Sierra Freewheel – Most Versatile Product
The High Sierra Freewheel rolling backpack works for just about any type of adventure you have on your hands. If you’re looking for one of the best rolling backpacks for 2018, then you’ll need to check this out.
So what’s so special about it?
It comes chock-full of features and has a well-thought-out design that makes traveling with it a breeze. High Sierra is a brand that is well-known for producing high-quality adventure gear that easily translates into your daily life.
The Freewheel is no exception.
Designed with two inline-style skate wheels, it easily maneuvers over pebbles and cracks in the sidewalks, while staying in the direction you want it to. It also comes with a telescoping handle, making it even more simple for you to cruise along with your rolling backpack.
If you’re traveling with delicate documents or a laptop, the Cushion Zone padded computer sleeve has you covered. Holding laptops/folders up to 17 inches, your products will be well-protected even if they take a couple bumps.
The large, multi-compartment design is very open and intuitive, making it easy to pack and unpack when you’re in a hurry.
The deluxe media pocket is great for technology lovers and comes with a headphone port so you can take calls or listen to music without having to hold your phone in your hand, which is extra convenient if you’re someone who takes public transportation on a regular basis.
Vapel mesh, padded shoulder straps take a bit of the load off, and also store easily behind a zippered, primary padded back panel which is perfect for when you’re not using them.
The side beverage pocket lets you hold your coffee thermos on your way to school/the office, or your water bottle on longer trips. If you decide to go hiking or take some extra gear along, simply attach it with the convenient triangle clip they have included.
As far as safety goes, the Freewheel has thought of almost everything. Corner guards and a kick plate protect the bag from daily rough-ups, while the reflective strip makes sure you’re always seen by vehicles.
L.L. Bean Rolling Deluxe – Most Durable Product
As one of the best rolling backpacks for adults and children alike, the L.L. Bean Rolling Book Pack is one you should have your eye on.
The pack is made of super-tough fabric: weatherproof, 420-denier nylon, to be exact. The abrasion-resistant 1680-denier ballistic nylon on the bottom, to make rips and tears are a thing of the past for your bags.
The zippers aren’t the flimsy, plastic-y ones that are often found in backpacks. These heavy-duty zippers are made to last years.
However, L.L. Bean works hard to quickly replace anything that needs it, as well as repairs. You don’t have to worry really for any of that, as it comes with a lifetime warranty.
As far as organization goes, the LL Bean Rolling Bag hits the mark there, too. With two main compartments, you have plenty of space to hold all of your books, notebooks, binders, and more without having to cram them into tiny spaces.
There’s also a small front compartment for easy access to things like a calculator or pens, and a tiny stash pocket for valuables or change, keys, and so on. With these features, it makes the L.L Bean Rolling Deluxe Book Pack just as great for middle school, as it is for medical school, or office workers and adventurers.
But is it comfy? Is anything L.L Bean puts out un-comfy? Not to our knowledge!
It is great to walk with; much less stress than walking a dog, that’s for sure! The inline skate-style wheels go the direction you want them to and aren’t particularly sticky. The tuck-away padded shoulder straps are contoured to give you an extra level of comfort.
Here’s where you should take note:
We preferred it much more as a rolling backpack than a “regular” one.
Why? We have a few reasons. The first is that it weighs 5.5 pounds. Now, that’s definitely not heavy, relatively speaking. However, when we compare it to the backpacks without wheels, it’s significantly heavier.
On top of that, the handle does sometimes stick, and the zipper often catches in the flap of fabric which is actually made to cover it. If you are purchasing for a child, keep in mind that some found this model difficult to fit in a locker.
Jansport Driver 8 Core Series – Best Product For College Students
You may be asking yourself, “Do college students use rolling backpacks?” The answer is a resounding, “yes”!
If you want one of the best-wheeled backpacks for school, then you probably know that anything by Jansport is a tried-and-true way to go.
Jansport is a company that has created reliable products for over 30 years, in a way that’s both functional and fashionable. It seems like just about everyone has owned a Jansport pack at least once in their lives!
With that being said, there were plenty of rolling book packs by them that could be considered the best rolling backpacks for college students, but we could only pick one.
That one is the Jansport 8 Driver Core Series.
The Driver 8 is a durable, sturdy rolling pack perfect for busy college students and hyperactive children alike. Think of it as a kind of computer bag combined with a piece of convenient travel luggage wrapped into one, fashionable pack.
While fashion is important for many, we’re going to argue that comfort is even more so. With that being said, the rolling pack comes with padded shoulder straps which easily tuck away when not in use.
The back panel is also fully-padded so your computer or hard textbook surface isn’t rubbing against your spine. The grab handle is also padded so you don’t rub your hand raw when lugging it around.
The wheels are good-sized, mounted 80mm action wheels complete with traction and stability control, to allow you to weave in-and-out of the crowds with ease, on just about any type of surface.
The retractable, two-stage handle is convenient for all sizes, and is quite sturdy and comfy, for longer commutes.
Speaking of commutes: Do you worry about bringing your laptop along for the ride?
Now, you don’t have to. The backpack comes complete with a padded laptop sleeve made to carry laptops up to 15 inches in size. This means that your laptop is safe from harm from those inevitable bumps against people and other objects that occur when one is commuting.
Aside from the laptop compartment, you also receive two other main compartments for easy storage, a large, front drawbridge compartment complete with a helpful organizer, a front zippered stash pocket for extra safe-keeping, and a side beverage pocket for when you need extra caffeine or hydration.
Now, let’s talk about some of the potential downsides:
First, is that while it’s great for extra storage, some of the smaller airplanes will make you check this bag, which means you may end up carrying your laptop in your arms rather than having it safely tucked away in the overhead compartment.
The zipper also tends to get stuck for some consumers. The material is also not as nice as other backpacks in the same price range, but it does seem to hold up better due to the fact that there’s such good stability, it doesn’t rub on the ground.
Kipling Alcatraz II – Best High End Product
Ever wonder what the workers in Silicon Valley use at work? It’s the Alcatraz II Backpack.
Okay, we can’t speak for everyone, but this backpack is perfectly designed for the tech-obsessed and student, alike.
The Alcatraz II backpack is a high-end, high-quality pack complete with laptop protection that will have you feeling secure about lugging your precious tech tools around. The padded laptop compartment accommodates up to a 15-inch laptop.
Made from water-resistant, durable, crinkle nylon, not only does it look attractive, it’s actually quite functional. These ones work great if you live in the Bay Area or Seattle, as your electronics will be safe from the moisture without sacrificing style.
The hide-away, padded backpack straps give you comfort, even if you’re lugging your history textbook and laptop together. If you decide to give your back a break, the telescopic, multi-stage handle system works with a simple one-touch operation system, which is super simple to maneuver.
A front zippered pocket features one, open-top pouch, a zipped mesh pocket, as well as three pen pockets to keep you nice and organized with easy access.
Behind that, there are two zipped pockets on the sides, along with one smaller zipped pocket on the top flap.
You can choose to keep an umbrella or a drink in the side mesh pouch, and the buckle closure on the flaps provide an extra level of security when you’re commuting or leave your bag around at the office.
The zippered main compartment has a padded laptop wall, along with a thoughtful hook-and-loop strap closure to further secure your laptop stays where you want it to. Oh, and if you plan on traveling with it, it is airline carry-on acceptable!
Well, it is notably more expensive than the others on our list. While it is made of high-quality materials, you don’t get a whole lot more features in comparison with the others.
Skip Hop Zoo – Best Children’s Product
Looking for one of the best rolling bookbags for your little one? We understand this can be a frustrating task, but it doesn’t have to be anymore.
We’ve found the best rolling backpack for your child: The Skip Hop Zoo.
Not only is this backpack functional, durable, and safe for their health, it’s also incredibly adorable and versatile!
These backpacks for children come in a wide array of styles, including bees, monkeys, puppies, and any other subject that may catch your child’s interest!
The Skip Hop Zoo packs feature one large main compartment, which is great for putting homework, books, or perhaps even show-and-tell items! A smaller insulated front compartment is the perfect place to put some snacks, and an adjustable mesh bottle pocket holds beverages.
If you’re using it for younger toddlers, then you can go ahead and stuff a change of clothes, toys, and even a blanket in there!
The write-on nametag makes it easy to identify whose is whose, and works perfectly for the age group it’s targeted towards.
Speaking of which, toddlers aren’t the most easily-pleased beings on the planet. So, when we say that this backpack is something they’ll actually want to wear, please believe us!
It fits children from 1-4 years old, typically, quite well. There is also room to grow with the bag, due to the adjustable straps, which are also padded for an extra level of comfort.
As far as durability goes, you’ll be impressed. Many parents actually report the backpack lasting so long, that they often pass it down to their younger children once it’s grown out of by the older one(s).
If you need to dry it, simply throw it in the washing machine, let it hang, and it’s like you just purchased it again! The only downside is that the “ears” on many of the designs start to fray or wear much quicker than the rest of the bag.
We first, want to thank you for joining us here! Have you found the best rolling backpack for you? If you haven’t, allow us to suggest our favorites, which were the Skip Hop, as well as the Jansport Core 8.
Jansport has proven itself for over 30 decades as a leader in high-quality backpacks. The Core 8 really outdid itself with the wide array of features, and the ease and comfort of use with the handle, wheels, and padding.
The Skip Hop, we obviously don’t recommend for students or workers, but rather for smaller toddlers. It’s high-quality, healthy, padded, and on top of it all is easy to wash and adorable!